Matt Adams has intense run-in with Reds fan

Mike Oz

Matt Adams of the St. Louis Cardinals gave chase to a foul ball in the third inning of Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, diving into the stands attempting to make the catch.

He didn't catch it. A Reds fan did. What followed wasn't Adams' finest moment and is a story the fan will tell as long as he lives.

Adams shoved the fan as he landed — a move that's not really the best thing an MLB player can do, and may trigger some punishment from the league.

The fan's reaction? He stuck the ball in his pocket, slapped hands with his buddy and flipped Adams the bird (requisite NSFW-ish warning before you click). He just bested the first baseman of one of his team's biggest rivals and had a souvenir to prove it.

The fan was identified by the Cincinnati Enquirer as Chris Smith, who was wearing a knee brace, since he recently had knee surgery. His side of the story was captured by reporter C. Trent Rosecrans:

"He gave me a shove and I fell back," Smith said. "I'm pretty sensitive about my knee right now. I'm fresh out of surgery, it's nothing to joke around about."

Leaning over the tarp, Adams was in position to catch the ball, but Smith had his glove above Adams' glove and made the catch. A fan has the right to catch a ball if he doesn't go into the field of play, and replays showed Smith didn't.

"I didn't reach over, I stayed where I was, I couldn't reach out if I tried, because I can't hit my knee on anything," Smith said, pointing to the cup holder in front of him right at knee-level.

Adams told the Enquirer he wasn't going after Smith, just using him as a brake.

"I'm not that type of guy to go after anybody," Adams said. "I was just trying to stop from going into the stands and stop from falling in there."

We'll see if that explanation gets Adams off the hook with MLB.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!